The Copper Promise by Jen Williams
Just finished reading The Copper Promise which frankly I just loved and Jen Williams is an author that I now have my beady eye on (that’s right, I’m looking at you!) What an incredibly enjoyable read. Well written, gory in parts but with a very healthy injection of humour. Does it bring anything new to fantasy – not really. But, in spite of that it’s one damned enjoyable read and anyway it has DRAGONS – or, more to the point A DRAGON – or, okay, a God who is in the form of A DRAGON! Just go read it!
The story starts with an intriguing look at a Castle which has been overtaken by rogues. They’ve heard about the famed wealth of the ruling family and are determined to find it and they’re not taking any prisoners when it comes to having the ways and means of extracting information!
We have an interesting snippet with a couple of people clearly sneaking around in some underground tunnels. A bit of sneaking which they may regret.
Finally we arrive at the start of the journey. A couple of sell swords in a tavern meeting their latest discerning customer and agreeing terms. The Copper Promise.
Frankly, I’m not giving any more of the plot away! There is your typical band of characters that come together through a loose arrangement to find ‘something’ who then become bound together and set off against great adversity and terrible odds to set things to right.
So, why did I enjoy this so much. Well, the characters mainly. I loved The Copper Cat (Wydrin) plus Sebastian and even Frith (in spite of himself). They all go through rough times. They all reach points in the book where they are literally on their own. And they’re all good to read about. There’s no sighing in despair as you move to a character’s POV that you don’t really like so much and only begrudgingly read. We even get to read the POV from some of the members of the strange army that the main protagonists come into conflict with and also a brief journey through the mind of a God.
Plus, the imagination. I loved the inventiveness of so many things that take place in the story. The different Gods and the way they manipulate. The strange army known as ‘the brood’. The magic system and the two different types of magic plus the way the magic is wielded. Just such a lot of really creative ideas – such as the different glass – sorry to be cryptic but I don’t want to spoil things. Extraordinary suits of armour, islands shrouded in mystery and fog.
The worldbuilding maybe takes a slight back seat to the characters, but not in a way that detracts at all. It may be a back seat but it’s one of those back seat passengers that wants to be heard! There are no major info dumps and I felt like the author managed very easily to portray the world here – which may not be too big a surprise, as I said I don’t think The CP is groundbreaking in particular – it’s just so entertaining. The plot moves along at a fair old pace. There are plenty of ups and downs and new threats to deal with and frankly I just thoroughly enjoyed Jen Williams style of writing.
If I had any criticisms at all they would probably be in relation to the book ending too soon, or not being long enough or some such. Happily would I return to this world and these characters and even more happily that looks like a very real possibility. For the haters of cliff hangers – you won’t be disappointed. A tied up finish with the promise of more goodness to come. I think this was originally separate stories and I think that there was maybe one part of the book where that showed a little in terms of feeling like a break in the narrative but this was very brief and really barely noticeable.
Really, keep your eyes on Jen Williams, she’s a keeper. Great pace, characters, plot and writing. What’s not to love really?
Get thee to a bookshop! I definitely recommend reading this.
I received a copy of this through the publisher’s in return for a honest opinion. My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley.